Colonia or Buenos Aires?

Colonia del Sacramento Travel Blog

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the Uruguayan flag

Our entire group went to Colonia, Uruguay this weekend.  It was really nice to get away and just relax and do nothing but sight-see.  It was my first time in Uruguay and I have to say that it is a very nice place to visit.  Riding on the Buquebus boat was another first for me.  I have never been on a boat bigger than a fishing boat, so riding that was a new experience. 

 

The boat was incredibly hot.  I don’t know how the people who work for the line do it day in and day out.  I was asleep right when I reached my seat and didn’t wake up till we reached Colonia.

Hotel Italiano
 Colonia, Uruguay is separated from Buenos Aires, Argentina by the Rio de la Plata.  I thought the trip to Colonia would take a long time, but we made it there in an hour and a half.  Our group stayed at the Plaza Italia while in Colonia. 

 

Colonia and Buenos Aires are vastly different in every way imaginable.  Buenos Aires is a huge city while Colonia is rather small.  Colonia seems more laid back and people seem to be more easy-going than those in Buenos Aires.  I didn’t really see any big companies or any industrial plants while in Colonia.

bull-fighting ring in Colonia
 I’m still not sure what most people do there for a living.  Maybe the majority of their business comes from tourism.  There were a ton of people on our boat, so I’m guessing that Colonia receives a ton of tourists all the time.

 

Another main difference I saw between the two cities was the money that the two countries use.  Uruguayan pesos are almost worthless when compared to the American dollar.  I believe one Argentine peso is about 8 Uruguayan pesos.  This would make one American dollar equal to approximately 24 Uruguayan pesos.  When one of our group members had to exchange a hundred dollar bill, she received thousand-peso Uruguayan notes in return.  Most of us still used Argentine pesos while in Colonia, since it was accepted there, but sometimes it got a little difficult when the locals couldn’t convert Argentine pesos into Uruguayan ones.

Totally Uruguayan?
 

 

We had most of the day today to explore the city further, so those of us who wanted to could rent scooters, ATVs or regular bicycles to do so.  I and another one of my peers, Brent, decided to rent ATVs to ride around the city.  Our ride turned out to be more of an adventure than we expected.  I had never ridden an ATV, or four-wheeler as it was referred to by others.  It took me a minute to get used to it, but it was a lot of fun riding over the stony streets of Colonia.  Colonia’s roads are mixture between new and old styles.  A lot of the old buildings still remain standing and the roads have not been paved over so that tourists can still see the cobblestone streets of old when the come to visit.  The one problem we didn’t realize while riding the ATVs was that most of the streets in Colonia are one-way streets.  We ended up getting stopped by local police for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

ATV riding!
 The signs for which direction to go on streets in that city were pasted on buildings and of course tourists who don’t know any better would miss it unless told otherwise.  The police were kind to the two of us and let us go with just a warning because we were tourists and were only in Colonia for a day.

 

 Of course when one gets caught doing something he/she isn’t supposed to be doing, everyone ends up knowing about it.  The incident happened right in front of a group of our friends who ended up taking pictures of us and telling everyone else in our group, so before we came back to our residence, word had spread like wildfire.  It was an overall pretty funny incident though.

 

The two things that I enjoyed the most while in Colonia were the live bands that performed at different local joints and the indoor swimming pool in our hotel which was heated.  Both were really nice and relaxing.  I enjoyed them a lot.  Buenos Aires might be a big city and I was born a big city boy.  However, it is always nice to unwind in a small town like Colonia, Uruguay.  For those who plan to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina after reading all of these blogs of mine, try and go to Colonia if you can.  The small town persona inside you might enjoy it a lot.  

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the Uruguayan flag
the Uruguayan flag
Hotel Italiano
Hotel Italiano
bull-fighting ring in Colonia
bull-fighting ring in Colonia
Totally Uruguayan?
Totally Uruguayan?
ATV riding!
ATV riding!
82 km (51 miles) traveled
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